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Jesse aired from September 1998 until March 2000 on NBC.

Jesse ( Christina Applegate), was a 26 year old single mom in Buffalo, New York, juggling her job, her dreams, and the many men in her life in this romantic comedy. The men came in all shapes and ages. Little John ( Eric Lloyd), was her adorable and supportive young son, who ran up to guys who were trying to hit on his mom, hugging them and shouting " Daddy"-which was usually enough to make them flee in terror. John Sr. ( George Dzundza) was her grouchy dad, who ran Der Biergarten, the German themed restaurant and bar where Jesse worked as a waitress, dressed in a dirndl. Also hanging around were her brothers: eccentric, long-haired John Jr. ( John Lehr), who as the series began, had been mute for a year because he was looking for a better way to communicate ( not finding it, he later opened up); and Darren ( David DeLuise), an unemployed "entrepreneur" who always had a get rich quick scheme. The man who made Jesse's heart go pitter-patter, however, was Diego ( Bruno Campos), a considerate, suavely handsone Chilian artist who had moved in next door. She fought the attraction, but it was undeniable. Stories revolved around their mating dance, and Jesse's dreams of becoming a nurse.

Carrie and Linda ( Jennifer Milmore, Liza Snyder), were Jesse's friends and fellow waitresses at Der Biergarten.

In February 1999 John Sr. left for Alaska leaving the restaurant to Jesse and her brothers. As the season ended Diego faced deportation because his visa had run out, but at the last minute he accepted a possition at UCLA that allowed him to stay. Before leaving he proposed to Jesse who turned him down.

The second season brought major changes. Both brothers disappeared from the cast and Jesse enrolled in a nursing school, taking a job as a nurse's assistant at the University Medical Center to pay the bills. Her new foils were Kurt ( Darryl Theirse), the prissy and arrogant chief nurse ( " you're taking my precious time"), and Danny ( Kevin Rahm), a boyish, somewhat distracted doctor, and much of the action took place in the University's Infirmary. Diego was back from the West Coast, resuming his teaching possition in Buffalo. He proposed again,and was turned down again. In the series finale he forced deportation again, proposed again, was turned down again and married Linda instead. Afterward Jesse had second thoughts but it was too late.

Although the series ended it's regular run in March 2000, two additional episodes, including the finale were seen on May 25, 2000.

An Article from Entertainment Weekly

Jessie's Girl
After a decade of playing slutty Kelly on 'Married...With Children,' CHRISTINA APPLEGATE blossoms into a smart, single mom in JESSE

By Bruce Fretts | Sep 11, 1998


What were the first words that sprang into NBC Entertainment president Warren Littlefield's head when Christina Applegate's name was mentioned for the leading role in the new sitcom Jesse? ''Jump, leap, grab, get!'' recalls the practically salivating exec. ''I'm a fan.''

After her 10 years as scantily attired airhead Kelly Bundy on Fox's smutcom Married...With Children, Applegate must be used to that reaction. But Jesse shows off a different side of the 25-year-old actress. She plays a levelheaded single mom raising her 10-year-old son (Eric Lloyd) while simultaneously studying to be a nurse and working as a barmaid at the Buffalo beer hall owned by her gruff father (Law & Order vet George Dzundza). ''Since the '80s, we've heard so much about single-parent homes and kids having kids,'' says creator Ira Ungerleider. ''And I thought, There isn't a sitcom about a young, single mom. That might be good.''

Especially in a season filled with interchangeable single-dad sitcoms. But will viewers accept Applegate as a non-bimbo? ''It'll take about five seconds,'' predicts executive producer David Crane. ''In the teaser, you're like, 'Oh, God, she's in the cocktail [waitress outfit], and there's cleavage.' Then you realize, 'Wait, she's a person.'''

''Because everybody always thinks of her as Kelly Bundy, you never think of her as an actress,'' says Ungerleider. Applegate adds, ''Some people will be surprised, and some people already knew I was just playing a character all those years.''

As Jesse, Applegate is terrifically appealing, even if the rest of the show could use some tinkering. NBC has already recast one of the brothers, replacing Jenny survivor Rafer Weigel with David DeLuise (another one of Dom's sons), and changed the show's vague working title, All My Life, to the more succinct Jesse. ''It was important to NBC to have a really short, snappy name that was easy to remember,'' explains Ungerleider. ''They end up shortening all the titles to one word anyway, like 'On an all-new Caroline...' or 'On an all-new Susan...'''

Not that anyone wants Jesse to get mixed up with those shows. ''It's not about a young career woman in her late 20s to early 30s who's neurotic,'' says Applegate. ''It's more of a family-oriented comedy.'' Besides, says NBC's Littlefield, ''those were all about women at magazines, and we have a new rule at NBC: No more women at magazines.'' And don't think we aren't thankful for that.

On the other hand, it's not as if NBC has had a whole lot of luck with family comedies lately (Something So Right, The Tony Danza Show, and Built to Last didn't). Ungerleider insists, though, that Jesse is ''not a typical family comedy. There are no lessons, and it's not about precocious kids who always say the hilarious one-liner.''

Applegate admits Jesse is a strange fit on NBC's traditionally no-kids-allowed Thursday lineup, but adds, ''We have the same writers as Friends and Veronica's Closet, so it has the same flavor and essence.'' (All three shows are executive-produced by Crane, Marta Kauffman, and Kevin S. Bright, whose success with Friends led to a primo Tuesday- or Thursday-night time-slot guarantee from NBC.) Also, as Crane points out, ''Frasier is really a family comedy. It doesn't have a little kid in it, but it's about sibling relationships and parent relationships. And Jesse's romantic life is an enormous part of her world, so in that regard, it's certainly in line with Friends.''

In fact, much of Jesse's pilot concerns her burgeoning romance with her hunky Chilean neighbor, Diego (Bruno Campos). Just don't look for a long and tortured courtship--or for their relationship to be the focus of the series. "It has as much weight as her family or her job does," says Ungerleider. Concludes Applegate: "I don't think it's going to be like Sam and Diane or Rachel and Ross. It's not going to be The Jesse and Diego Show." Nah, that title's way too long.

--Bruce Fretts

A Review from The New York Times

New TV Season in Review

Published: September 24, 1998

NBC, tonight at 8:30
(Channel 4 in New York)

Can Christina Applegate, former adolescent boys' fantasy as the trampy blond daughter in Fox's ''Married . . . With Children,'' change her image and find happiness with her own sitcom? She's surprisingly not detestable in ''Jesse,'' about a Buffalo barmaid and single mom too pretty not to be hit on by customers constantly. The family is deliberately wacky (bigoted father, one brother who doesn't speak, another with stupid business schemes). The bachelor next door isn't. In case you don't notice the resemblance of Diego (Bruno Campos) to Antonio Banderas, the script points it out. He also has great comic timing.

A Review from The New York Daily News


By ERIC MINK Daily News TV Critic

Thursday, September 24th 1998, 2:05AM

JESSE. Tonight, 8:30, NBC. 2 STARS

THERE'S NO SHORTAGE of talent on "Jesse," NBC'S latest high-stakes, Thursday-night roll of the comedy dice. Yet, except for a few fleeting, sparkling moments, this new show, premiering tonight at 8:30, just sort of sits there on the TV screen.

I don't think you can blame the cast:

Christina Applegate, who cut her sitcom teeth on "Married . . . With Children," seems sure of herself and her title character, Jesse Warner. She's a 26-year-old single mom totally dedicated to her 10-year-old son, while more than a little gun-shy when it comes to romance.

That reticence is put to the test by Diego (Bruno Campos), the Chilean-born next-door-neighbor whose striking good looks, intelligence, sincerity and gentle wit make it very difficult for Jesse to hang onto her I-don't-date approach to life. In tonight's episode, Campos brings a smooth, easy charm to his character. Next week, he adds a touch of nutty neuroticism.

Creator and executive producer Ira Underleider fleshes out his cast of characters with some impressive performers:

There's Jesse's father, John (the veteran George Dzundza), who owns and manages the restaurant/bar where Jesse works and the house where Jesse and her son live. There are Jesse's two strange grown brothers, sweet John Jr. (John Lehr), who also lives with his dad, and Darren (David DeLuise), an inveterate schemer. Jesse's co-workers at the bar, Carrie (Jennifer Milmore) and Linda (Liza Snyder), do not share her fear of dating.

Maybe the best of the bunch is Jesse's son, Little John, played by Eric Lloyd, a 12-year-old who already has had significant roles in movies alongside the likes of Woody Allen, Harrison Ford, Tim Allen, Michael J. Fox and Jason Alexander.

The writing clearly lets the cast down, although Applegate and Campos manage to generate some electricity, and Lloyd makes Little John irresistible. Dzundza, on the other hand, struggles in vain with leaden joke lines, and Jesse's two girlfriends are annoying stereotypes. Indeed, most of the show's comic moments belong to John Jr. a character who never speaks.

That can't be a good sign.

A Review from the Chicago Tribune

Christina Applegate Is A Pro But "Jesse" Needs Some Sophistication
October 03, 1998|By Terry Jackson, Knight-Ridder/Tribune.

Although this summer's box office hit "The Truman Story" was just a big screen fable about the pervasiveness of TV -- no network could adopt an infant and turn him into a video guinea pig, right??? -- Christina Applegate comes as close to a real-life Truman Burbank as anyone.

She made her network debut at age 3 months on the soap "Days of Our Lives," held in the arms of her actor-mom, Nancy Priddy. At 8, she guest-starred on "Quincy." By 12, Applegate appeared in her first TV movie. Her first regular series was "Hearts of the City" in 1986, when Applegate was

Then, in 1987, Applegate attained true fame as the sex-kitten daughter of Al and Peg Bundy on Fox's raunchy "Married . . . With Children," and the nation watched her grow to adulthood over the next 10 years.

Now she's ready for her own sitcom.

Too bad it's "Jesse," a formulaic comedy that, by virtue of Hollywood politics, has landed one of the most coveted spots on the prime time schedule -- between "Friends" and "Frasier" in NBC's powerhouse Thursday lineup.

It's worth watching if you're a fan of Applegate, who does the best with what she's given. Just don't expect the same sort of high-energy role she had on "Married . . . With Children."

Here she's Jesse Warner, a 26-year-old level-headed single mom who also is den mother for a household that includes her widowed father John (George Dzundza); brothers John Jr. (John Lehr) and Darren (David DeLuise); and her 10-year-old son, nicknamed Little John (Eric Lloyd).

Jesse works as a waitress in her father's bar, where she is joined by two friends, Carrie (Jennifer Milmore) and Linda (Liza Snyder), who are constant sources of wisdom about men.

And men are Jesse's No. 1 problem, from the needy and neurotic males in her household to Diego (Bruno Campos), the Antonio Banderas-type single neighbor who just moved next door.

Applegate plays Jesse as a nice, conflicted woman who thinks she doesn't have time for love or anything else personal because of all the demands on her life. It's not a new theme, and Applegate must struggle through some really banal scenes.

When a bar patron makes a crude and unwanted pass, Jesse's answer is to launch her son like a missile at the guy, screaming, "Daddy, daddy!" After a platonic first date with Diego, they fall asleep in Jesse's VW and she awakens in a panic, as though her reputation were at stake.

A little more sophistication, please.

"Jesse" is the creation of Bright/Kauffmann/Crane Productions, the team that owns "Friends" and "Veronica's Closet," two of the bricks in NBC's Thursday ratings castle. When they pitched "Jesse" to the network, the producers were obviously dealing from a position of strength.

And NBC had every reason to want Applegate on board. She's a pro with a strong, young fan base, and on paper a sitcom starring her would seem to be a perfect fit in the hip Thursday lineup.

But "Jesse" is anything but hip. It's too pat, too calculated. There are no surprises, no life in Applegate's role.

Like Truman Burbank, who knew there had to be more to life than what he had, Applegate needs to break out.

An Article from Entertainment Weekly

TV Article
Bruno Momento
Campos driven to succeed -- The ''Jesse'' actor needed the role of face deportation
By Shawna Malcom | Nov 27, 1998

Some actors are motivated by pressure to pay the rent, others by the fear of anonymity. But Bruno Campos Christina Applegate's babelicious beau next door on Jesse was driven to succeed by a different sort of threat: deportation.

''You'll do anything when you have that kind of gun to your head,'' says the Brazilian native, who two years ago pretty much accosted Warner Bros. TV prez Tony Jonas. ''I said, 'In two weeks I have to go back to my country. To stay, I need a deal with a studio, and I'd rather cut off my arm than leave your office without one.'''

Impressed, Jonas inked Campos to a one-year talent contract, which not only kept him Stateside but led to roles in 1997's The Last Don and an episode of Suddenly Susan.

The son of an international banker, Campos, 24, has always been a mover and shaker. His family relocated from Rio de Janeiro to Houston while he was still a tot, and by the time he turned 14 he'd visited 20 different countries. That year, he left for a Michigan boarding school, and in 1994 clinched his first movie role a lead, no less in the Oscar-nominated Brazilian film O Quatrilho while still a student at Northwestern University. Still, nothing prepared him for his Jesse audition. ''Halfway through, [a producer] stopped me and said, 'Just go home.' I was stunned. I said, 'Like slit-my-wrists go home or be-proud-of-myself go home?'''

''Choosing Bruno was a no-brainer he screamed 'gold mine,''' says series creator Ira Ungerleider. ''There was such a depth and maturity there.''

Not to mention a heckuva sexy mug albeit one susceptible to the stresses of the TV biz. ''That meeting with Tony [Jonas] aged me,'' says Campos, who's dating Cupid star Paula Marshall. ''I left feeling like a man. A man with some serious gray hairs.''

To read some articles about Jesse go to and and

To watch some clips from Jesse go to

For Tim's TV Showcase go to

For a Website dedicated to Christina Applegate go to

For some Jesse-related interview videos at the Archive of American Television go to
Date: Fri January 21, 2005 � Filesize: 40.3kb � Dimensions: 367 x 480 �
Keywords: Jesse: Cast Photo (Links Updated 7/30/18)


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